People say to me – a lot – that I’m a great cold caller.
That somehow I’m gifted at cold calling. I might be. I don’t think so. I think I just do it. Others don’t. I just chase, hunt, help, pursue.
I do it because it’s in their best interests to go with me.
They say it with astonished respect, but they don’t know how I operate. I am not a human boiler room.
40% of my work is done before I call anyone. Finding the right person that fits the right profile is it.
I’m willing to do what others won’t. Because of that, I’ve learned to then do what others can’t. This is the engine that drives things.
I don’t do it as much as people think I did. The Mike Ferry days are over for me- that pressure cooker style is ineffectual and stupid. What’s not stupid is the discipline and hustle it teaches.
Best case scenario – 95% of the time nothing great happens.
What happens when I cold call/initiate contact is about like this (and this isn’t quite scientific):
- 30% of the time it goes nowhere. The contact is ignored, and noting really happens. Spitting into a trash can.
- 15% of the time, I humiliate myself and send a ridiculous, irrelevant email that helps to train my people from using me, and my services.
- 20% of the time I get a polite “no thanks,” or “not right now.”
- 15% of the time, the person I contact isn’t right for our service, and the discovery process reveals that. This makes for some funny conversations “but…you called me, you must be desperate.”
- 10% of the time we haggle and the deal doesn’t close. Sometimes we make lifelong friends here.
- 5% of the time the deal closes.
- 5% of the time we have a core lifelong customer/friend.
After this, everyone goes into my CRM. This is everyone I connect with. There are several activity templates set up:
- Inbound/hot (for people that want us)
- Interested (for people that may go to the next one)
- Regular (this means that we connect about once a quarter)
They have a variety of follow up sequences, and I’m testing if being brash/insulting works better than being pleading/begging. It seems that that’s the case, at least for me. I’ve sold a dozen or more videos by insulting their existing video. “I hope that your product has more care than whoever made that awful video.”
This isn’t the “nicest” way to do things, but it gains respect and demonstrates indifference. People that become our clients on this basis are also under control. When we approach someone with swagger, we inform them how their video will look. When they approach us, it changes the playing field just a little bit and oddly enough, it seems that we have less leverage.
Think about it this way: if you’re dating someone, do you want to pick, or do you want them to pick you? Then, what do you do to control the conversation?
There’s a continuum, but it seems that you get quicker dispensations with brash, and the percentages are about the same. Quicker is better because at least we know about it rapidly and don’t live in delusionland. (If we’re not ever really getting the business, it’s better knowing it.) Long term follow up works but not necessarily with any individual customer. I couldn’t predict that customer X would come back because I emailed a link. I also didn’t do it just to get their business, I did it because I add value.
Brash/unhinged seems to be a way to go. It keeps you from nurturing/chasing the business you weren’t getting anyway. With the CRM, every activity is just one more thing to do, nothing loaded or hard about it.
Ultimately, we have better luck with people I contact than with the folks that come over the transom on our /quote page. There are a lot of people that show up that aren’t yet our “right people” if you would. When I call people, I can create the information flow, and present to them in an intelligent way.
There is a long way to go to improve how we do things, you know? We are far from perfect right now, so we need to improve lots of little things about the way that our business works.